Contact invests in Simply Energy

11 June

Contact Energy announced today an investment of $10.7 million over three financial years to acquire a 49.9% shareholding in Simply Energy, a specialist Wellington-based electricity solutions business which provides tailored solutions for commercial and industrial energy clients.

Contact Energy (Contact) has invested in an innovative energy solutions company to help commercial and industrial customers reduce their carbon footprint and accelerate our strategy to decarbonise New Zealand’s energy system.

“Our commercial and industrial customers have told us they want to transition to a lower carbon future through a partnership that goes beyond the competitive electricity price we already offer,” Contact’s Chief Generation and Development Officer James Kilty says.

“In Simply Energy we see a track record of delivering innovative, bespoke electricity supply solutions, including wholesale electricity supply, hedging and tariff services combined with energy management solutions and we are looking forward to working with them to help our customers make the transition in an economically sensible way.”

As a result of the investment, Simply Energy will broaden the range of products and services for customers. It will also work closely with our fulfilment partners to provide tailored services to those who want to switch from fossil fuels to renewable electricity.

Simply Energy Managing Director Murray Dyer says the investment is an important and significant step towards a lower carbon future.

“This is an exciting venture for Simply Energy and Contact to provide more sustainable energy solutions for customers. We have an aligned business plan and structure to ensure our customers have access to some of the most innovative energy solutions. We look forward to working with Contact to further develop these services to help customers transition to a lower carbon future.”

Simply will continue to operate independently as a trusted service partner to its existing customers but with full access to add innovative products to Contact’s commercial and industrial customer base.

The purchase price, which is payable over three financial years, includes a $2 million injection into Simply to fund investment in systems and technology to enhance the range of products and services available to customers.

Contact will use existing credit facilities to fund the investment, which is expected to complete by the end of June 2019. Contact expects the investment in Simply to be earnings accretive from FY21 onwards. Contact has the option to increase its shareholding in two years depending on the success of the venture in achieving our decarbonisation priorities.

Source: Contact Energy

 

CEFC becomes billion dollar solar investor with latest equity investment in large-scale renewables

11 June

The CEFC has announced its third equity investment in a large-scale renewable energy development, with a $51 million stake in Victoria’s 200MW (AC) Kiamal Solar Farm. The investment extends the CEFC’s push into equity following earlier investments in Queensland’s Ross River Solar Farm and Tasmania’s Granville Harbour Wind Farm.

The Kiamal Solar Farm, near Ouyen in north-west Victoria, is the first Australian project to be delivered by leading international developer Total Eren, further diversifying the investment profile of Australia’s solar sector.

Total Eren will include a 190MVAr synchronous condenser as part of the Kiamal generating system, facilitating a timely connection to the Victorian Transmission System, as well as strengthening the grid in the north western Victoria area for the longer term.

Total Eren is also working with TransGrid to deliver a new 220 kV Kiamal Terminal Station and Collector Substation, with the two 180MVA transformers designed and manufactured locally by Wilsons Transformers in Victoria.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “This exciting project will contribute to a stronger and more reliable grid, able to accommodate an increasing share of low emissions solar energy in the future.

“While Australia’s world leading potential in solar energy in well known, the reality is that we require considerable new investment to take advantage of this low cost and low emissions energy resource. The CEFC continues to play a central role in working alongside exciting new investors such as Total Eren as a way of increasing the flow of capital into our clean energy transition. We’re also seeing new opportunities for the CEFC to invest in projects as an equity partner, allowing us to diversify our own investment portfolio for the longer term.”

Total Eren CEO David Corchia said: “The successful Financial Close of Kiamal constitutes another important milestone in Total Eren’s development in Australia. With our first project in this country, we are excited to be able to contribute to the shift towards renewable energy in Australia and to local development in Victoria.

“I would like to thank our financing partners ANZ, ING and Natixis, as well as CEFC and our outstanding team on the ground who together enabled us to go ahead with the construction of what will be the largest PV power plant in Victoria and one of Total Eren’s largest solar assets worldwide.”

The minority equity stake in the Kiamal project confirms the CEFC’s leading role in the development of rapidly-growing Australia’s large-scale solar sector. The CEFC has invested more than $1 billion to accelerate the development of more than 1.4GW of large-scale solar energy Australia-wide.

Kiamal has secured a corporate power purchase agreement (PAA) with Mars Australia, as well as PPAs with energy retailers Alinta Energy and Flow Power. It also will supply energy to Zero Emissions Water, a new entity representing 13 Victorian water corporations, and deliver large-scale generation certificates for retailer Origin Energy.

Mr Learmonth added: “The CEFC is pleased to support the innovative approach to offtake contracting reflected in the Kiamal project. The use of multiple power purchase agreements demonstrates the potential for a diverse group of customers to hedge their energy costs while supporting the development of new large-scale renewable energy projects.

“We are confident this is a model that can be embraced by more manufacturers, commercial enterprises and government agencies as they explore ways to further control energy costs as well as lower their emissions.”

The Kiamal development is expected to reach commercial operation later in 2019. Victoria’s largest solar farm, it will include more than 718,000 PV panels with single-axis trackers covering some 500 hectares of land. It is expected to produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 133,500 homes and displace more than 610,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Total Eren is seeking to expand the Kiamal Solar Farm with a second stage of up to 213.5 MWp of solar PV panels, as well as exploring commercial options for the approved 270MW / 1,080 MWh energy storage system.

Source: CEFC

 

PROJECT NEWS

Silverton Wind Farm

All wind turbines on the 200 MW Silverton Wind Farm are now constructed and commissioned. The Silverton Wind Farm is the first greenfield development for the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF). A joint venture consisting of GE and CATCON is contracted for the engineering, procurement and construction of the wind farm works. The project scope also includes connection works to a substation in Broken Hill operated by TransGrid. Construction began in May 2017 with the site expected to be operational by mid-2019. The site will contain 58 wind turbines and will produce approximately 780,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, in what will be the sixth largest wind farm in Australia. This energy will power approximately 136,000 average Australian homes.

 

NEW PROJECTS

Bendigo Community Solar Farm

Location: Bendigo, central Victoria

Capacity: 2 MW

Developer: Bendigo Sustainability Group

LGA: City of Greater Bendigo

Status: The Bendigo Sustainability Group is seeking Expressions of Interest to lease land for 25 years for a community Solar Farm.

Description: The community will develop the project, manage the design, construction and ongoing operation under the Community Power Hub Bendigo program. The Bendigo Sustainability Group is working on an arrangement that the community will be able to buy the electricity generated from the farm via Victorian based retailer.

Contact: Chris Weir 

Project Manager

Bendigo Sustainability Group

Tel: (03) 5443 5244

Email: chrisw@bsg.org.au

 

Bendigo Mines Pumped Hydro Project

Location: Bendigo, central Victoria

Capacity: 30 MW, with 180 MWh storage

Developer: Bendigo Sustainability Group

LGA: City of Greater Bendigo

Status: A pre-feasibility study which was completed in March 2018

Description: The concept proposed for further development is an inter-reef pumped hydro system which could store up to six hours, or 180 MWh, of energy. The excess power generated from solar during the day would be used to pump the water in the pumped hydro energy storage back up to higher levels within the mine workings.  The state government is seeking expressions of interest from industry and other parties to progress this work into a full feasibility study. Arup was a consultant for the project’s pre-feasibility study.

Contact: Ken Mann

Pumped Hydro Action Group Coordinator

Tel: (03) 5443 5244

Email: kenmann176@gmail.com

 

MPower to construct a 6.8 MW solar farm

12 June

– Project comprising 17,000 solar panels and single axis tracking system

– Project to be completed this calendar year

– Pipeline of opportunities continues to evolve

MPower Group Limited (MPower or the Company) is pleased to announce that it has secured a contract to construct a 6.8MWDC solar farm at Mannum in South Australia, the second significant solar farm project in South Australia to be awarded to MPower this financial year.

The 6.8MWDC Mannum Solar Farm Project comprises approximately 17,000 solar panels and utilises single axis tracking technology. The tracking technology facilitates the movement of the solar panels to track the sun during the day, thereby maximising the power output of the solar farm.

The grid-connected Mannum Solar Farm Project is owned by a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar. The contract has a value to MPower of over $3 million and will be completed this calendar year.

As Canadian Solar will be directly supplying its own proprietary componentry together with other components, the contract value of this project differs from full scope projects that MPower has been involved with.

Comment

MPower’s Chief Executive Officer Nathan Wise commented: “We are delighted to be involved in the delivery of another first class grid-connected solar farm. The Mannum Solar Farm will bring another new, dependable and renewable energy source to South Australia, supporting the transition to renewable energy and further boosting the state’s renewable credentials.

“The rise of decentralised power generation and the move away from centralised power stations is a continuing phenomenon and we are encouraged by the level of demand. MPower’s pipeline of projects in the proposal phase including solar, battery storage and hybrid systems across Australia and the Pacific Islands is continuing to grow.”

Source: MPower

 

NEW PROJECT

Frasers Solar Farm

Location: Toongabbie, Victoria

Capacity: 75 MW

Developer: South Energy

LGA: Latrobe City Council

Status: Public consultation started

Estimated cost: $110mil

Description: Planned on 110 hectares of land located about 2km south of Toongabbie township close to existing infrastructure. Pending approvals construction scheduled to start in 2020 with full operation expected by 2021.

Website: https://fraserssolar.com.au/

Contact: South Energy

Tel: (03) 8842 6888

Email: info@southenergy.com.au

 

PROJECT NEWS

Projects change names

South Energy has renamed two of its Victorian solar farm projects as follows. The 115 MW, $170mil Benalla North Solar Farm is now called the Lake Mokoan Solar Farm, while the 145 MW Benalla South Solar Farm project has been renamed the Kennedys Creek Solar Farm. Both projects have been updated in the AltEnergy database.

 

Genex receives AEMO Generator Performance Standard approval for the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project

14 June

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has completed its assessment of the Generator Performance Standards (GPS) for the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro or Project) and has issued their GPS approval for the Project by way of providing a letter pursuant to clause 5.3.4A of the National Electricity Rules.

AEMO, via transmission network service provider Powerlink Queensland (Powerlink), has determined that the Project can operate in accordance with the required electricity standards of the National Electricity Market (NEM). As a synchronous, scheduled generator, the Project will provide grid strength and stability attributes to the NEM, in particular, the North Queensland region.

The GPS approval is one of the most complex and significant milestones for K2-Hydro following a long and detailed submission process with AEMO and also satisfies a key condition in Powerlink’s Offer to Connect, marking one of the final Project approvals required for financial close.

Commenting on the GPS approval, James Harding, CEO of Genex said:

“I would like to thank AEMO and Powerlink for their excellent cooperation and coordinated approach over the past few months in negotiating the performance standards for the project and allowing Genex to achieve this significant milestone. K2-Hydro will be the first pumped storage hydro project to be connected to the national electricity network in over thirty years. The GPS approval took a strong collaborative effort from all parties to agree the standards appropriate for this type of generator. I anticipate that future pumped storage hydro projects will benefit from the work required for Kidston.”

Source: Genex Power

 

PROJECT NEWS

Delburn Wind Farm

The community consultation process for the proposed 300 MW Delburn Wind Farm in Victoria has begun following the appointment of a Community Engagement Officer, and the opening of a local drop in centre, information point and local project office. OSMI is reaching out directly to those residents in proximity of the proposed wind turbine locations over the coming months and anyone in the wider local community who would like to have input into the project.

The concept plan is the first stage of the design process. Community members now have the opportunity to have their questions answered, to register any concerns they may have, and to have a real input into the ultimate design of the wind farm and the form that they want the community benefits to take. Community input will be taken into consideration along with the results of technical assessments currently being conducted and will feed into the next version of the design, which will also be released for public comment.

Technical assessments underway include:

- Preliminary Flora and Fauna – general assessment and Matters of National Environmental Significance

- Preliminary Aviation Assessment

- Preliminary Noise Modelling

- Preliminary Shadow Flicker Assessment

- Preliminary Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment

- Preliminary Bushfire Risk Assessment

- Desktop Cultural Heritage Management Plan

For more information on the project, updated maps and FAQs, visit our website at https://osmi.com.au/ 

Source: OSMI

 

May Large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data now available

14 June

The Clean Energy Regulator has released the May 2019 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data.

May highlights

- 25 power stations were accredited with a combined capacity of 285 megawatts.

- The total capacity of accredited power stations to date in 2019 is now 1501 megawatts.

- Two utility-scale projects accounted for over 95 per cent of the combined capacity accredited: the Yendon Wind Farm with a total capacity of 144 megawatts, and Numurkah Solar with a total capacity of 128 megawatts.

- Three utility-scale wind projects reached financial close with a combined capacity of 417 megawatts, with the largest being the Collector Wind Farm with a total capacity of 227 megawatts.

Source: Clean Energy Regulator

 

PROJECT NEWS

Willatook Wind Farm

The federal Department of Energy & the Environment declared Wind Prospect Group’s proposed 400 MW Willatook Wind Farm, near Orford in Victoria, a controlled action meaning it will require assessment and approval under the EPBC Act before it can proceed. The relevant controlling provisions are listed threatened species and communities (sections 18 & 18A). The project will be assessed under the assessment bilateral agreement with Victoria.

 

Big battery power for North Western Victoria

14 June

Australia’s largest integrated battery and solar farm is hard at work in North Western Victoria – storing clean energy from the Gannawarra Solar Farm and providing much needed power to the state’s energy grid.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio visited the Gannawarra Energy Storage System outside Kerang today for the official opening and to see the big battery in operation.

The Andrews Labor Government invested $25 million into two big batteries in North Western Victoria, including the Gannawarra Energy Storage System – a 25-megawatt/50-megawatt hour system using Tesla batteries which are integrated with the Gannawarra solar farm.

This is Tesla’s second biggest battery in Australia and among the largest of its kind in the world – big enough to power 16,000 households for 2 hours during peak demand.

The 7500 m2 battery is charged by the solar farm and stores 100 per cent renewable energy – to be injected into the electricity grid at key times.

Along with being able to store and quickly release energy the big batteries will also help integrate new renewable energy into the Victorian grid.

The Labor Government’s investment in large-scale battery storage projects in western Victoria is helping to address known stress points in the electricity network.

Two projects were chosen to receive funding as part of this initiative – the Gannawarra Energy Storage System and the Ballarat Energy Storage System.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency also provided $25 million to co-fund these projects, with close to $20 million invested from private equity.

Both batteries have been operating since summer 2018/19, with the Gannawarra battery providing invaluable power during the extreme heat events of late January, by exporting 80 megawatt hours of stored energy to the grid.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“Big batteries help to stabilise our power grid and provide much-needed backup power – which is vital to maintaining a reliable and affordable energy supply for Victoria.”

“We’re proud to make Victoria the leader in renewable energy – that’s why we’re increasing our Victorian Renewable Energy Target to 50 per cent by 2030.”

“By investing in renewable energy and storage technology, we are continuing to modernise our electricity grid, strengthen our energy security and deliver real action on climate change.”

Source: Victorian Government

 

CORRECTION

Hay Solar Farm

The Hay Solar Farm in NSW is owned by Overland Sun Farming and Island Green Power, not Renew Estate as incorrectly reported in last week’s edition. This error has been corrected in our database. On behalf of the project Overland Sun Farming prepared and submitted the planning applications for the battery system that was recently approved.

 

Request for release from suspension

14 June

The Board of Tempo Australia Limited (ASX: TPP, “Tempo”, “Company”) provides the following update in relation to the matter that initiated placing the Company into a voluntary trading suspension:

On 27 February 2018, Tempo announced that it had a binding LOI with a leading international power company for the engineering and construction of a 34 mega-watt solar farm, including mechanical, electrical and civil works, HV substation, and procurement of electrical cables. The client was then subsequently confirmed to be Enel Green Power Australia Pty Ltd (“Client”). The commencement of the works was subject to the Client reaching agreement on a Power Purchase Agreement as part of the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme, expected in the third quarter of 2018.

On 27 February 2019, Tempo advised that the final contract for the project had been executed. The value of the works for Tempo was $15.3 million over a 12-month construction period commencing 1 March 2019.

A review of the project by the Company on 23 April highlighted that contractually there was a significant risk of the project requiring a significant amount of additional working capital that would stress our existing working capital facilities. The project also has a risk for potential claims over delays and variations that would have potential to increase costs that would have been material for Tempo and deleterious for the project and the Client. The Board determined that if the risk was realised this would place the Company in an untenable position.

The Company went into a trading halt on 24 April 2019 and subsequently was suspended from trading on 29 April 2019.

The Board of Tempo is now pleased to advise that following ongoing discussions since the trading halt that the Client has indicated its willingness to negotiate amendments to the contract with the Company, and the Board considers that those discussions and the amendments verbally agreed with the Client are now at a stage where the concerns the Board had originally identified have been addressed.

While not currently binding, the Board is satisfied that the ongoing good faith negotiations are sufficiently progressed to request lifting of the suspension in trading. The key terms that have been agreed in principle, and which the parties are currently operating in accordance with, are:

a) to convert the contracting model to a target cost estimate model. This removes the potential for unresolved claims causing any increased costs and aligns both parties to work in collaboration with each other to minimise potential cost increases;

b) costs will be managed through a fully transparent open-book unit-pricing mechanism; and

c) a cash neutral position meaning that the company will not require any additional working capital to fund the work under the contract or additional costs due to unresolved claims or variations.

The board believes that these changes to the management of the contract is an acceptable and good outcome for all of the parties. The changes mean that if the agreed target cost is achieved, the Company will maintain its initial profit from the contract. However, should the target cost be exceeded then Tempo’s profit margin will be at risk.

The Board is confident that with the preceding negotiated outcome and the lifting of the voluntary trading suspension that it is back to business as usual for Tempo.

Other than in relation to this contract, Tempo continues to operate in accordance with previous disclosures and announcements made to the ASX.

The Board advises that good progress has been made in identifying a new CEO and CFO and the Company expects to make further announcements on these matters in the near future.

The Board thanks shareholders for their patience during this period of suspension.

Source: Tempo Australia